The Ins and Outs of Sports Digital Marketing

June 11, 2010


I recently attended, and spoke at, Sports Marketing 2.0 in Chicago. I’m not going to lie; I’m a sports fanboy so it was pretty exciting for me to attend and meet the heads of marketing for teams like the Chicago Bears and Bulls, Detroit Redwings and more. :) Now, having had a week to contemplate the discussions, I’ve wrapped my head around one of the challenges I feel digital sports marketers are facing. Interestingly, it’s a problem many of us face in our respective industries.

What do I optimize?

In whole, I envy digital sports marketers. Having played sports in college and being a fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB I don’t believe there are many verticals that have access to better content and personalities with which they can promote their products. That said, the challenges remain fairly consistent with other industries:

Constant: I have finite resources

Constant: I need to get greater returns for my investments

The discussion swirled around two primary areas during the day.

First: There was lively discussion surrounding the ad spend for the teams and how to best optimize that ad spend (the channels, the creative, the forms, etc.).

Second: Investments in Social and Mobile and how teams could dip their toe into the space coupled with how they could jump headfirst into the deep end.

Interestingly, there was almost no discussion about how to optimize core digital assets (websites, landing pages).

Optimize where you can have the highest impact to your business

Whether or not we are in sports marketing, the same basic optimization priority challenge is one we all face. Where do I put my priorities?

Often times priorities are stacked next to each other like this:


The reality is that optimization isn’t equal. Optimizing your ad buys and ‘whatever is new’ in the case of the summit, social media and mobile might never have the same effect as optimizing your core assets…especially if your business is driving towards any type of a success action (selling tickets as an example).  A 1% lift in conversion on your website or landing pages can actually make your ad buys and investments in social more effective. Priorities, more realistically, look a lot more like this…


…where success is achieved at the bottom of the funnel.

My words of advice to Sports Digital Marketers?

Consider moving resources to optimize your core assets as a part of your marketing plans. At the end of the day, an incremental lift in the successes you care about can provide you with a lot more leverage to experiment with new investments.


Was looking for some fodder for a whitepaper on sports marketing, googled and found this. Thanks for the insight! I’ll be sure to stop back more often Jascha. :D

From Social Media Consultant on June 15th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Thanks for the comment Jason. I look forward to hearing more from you.

From jascha kaykas-wolff on June 15th, 2010 at 7:27 pm

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